Posts Tagged ‘Hleb hates Arsenal


Best/Worst of 2008 #5; Hleb out, Nasri in

The transfer window opens on Thursday and we all know what this week holds; a week of speculation about Arsenal’s transfer targets. I’ll put that information at the end of the post for those of you who are interested but really it’s just speculation and please take it with a huge grain of salt.

Instead of just talking about transfer targets or how Steven Gerrard should be banned for life for his part in a bar fight (that’s a joke, kids) for the rest of this week I want to do a top five best/worst Arsenal year in review. One a day, like vitamins for your football mind, starting with the #5 best/worst story of 2008 and culminating in the #1 best/worst story. One more thing, the reason that the stories are both best and worst is because as I was thinking through each of these, with only one exception, even the best stories had a negative component. So, they are best/worst — you’ll see what I mean.

#5 Hleb out, Nasri in

I don’t know about you, but by the time that Alex Hleb raised a hand to Graeme Murty and got sent off — the last act of futility in a career at Arsenal that defined the word — I was well and truly done with Alex Hleb.

Now, before you get all nostalgic and claim that Arsenal could use Hleb this year, “Arsenal need some width!” you might claim. Let me remind you just how bad Hleb was: this was a guy who had 25 shots, SHOTS not shots on goal but SHOTS, in all competitions in his last year at Arsenal. Of course it’s nice to have a guy on the team who passes the ball but Hleb took passing the ball to a whole different level: he routinely passed up wide open shots in order to pass the ball to a teammate.

To his credit Hleb did have a career high 11 assists last year, but it took him two years of utter futility to reach that apex.

Arsene sold him, to his dream team (where he rots on the bench), and used the money to bring in a guy who has almost all of the same qualities that Hleb had. Arsene bought Samir Nasri.

The difference between Hleb and Nasri is glaring: Nasri already has 32 shots, 4 goals, and 2 assists in just 17 games, Nasri took all the corner kicks and set plays on Sunday (and he was able to clear the first defender which we haven’t seen in a long time), and Nasri’s most important quality is that he plays on the left and actually provides width to this Arsenal team. If you remember, Hleb always, always, always dribbled the ball into the middle of the park — I can only guess he did that because he’s was not capable of playing in a cross.

But the best part about Samir Nasri? He scores game winning goals in big matches. I mean, his second goal against Man U was, well… Hleb could never do that.

So, in his first year Samir Nasri has already shown himself to be a better player than Alex Hleb, a great addition to this team, another coup by the Professor, and the #5 best/worst Arsenal story of 2008.

Transfer Targets


I saw a story that said Arsenal are going to buy three Newcastle players: Shay Given, Charles N’Zogbia, and Steven Taylor. I’ll admit that I’m no fan of Almunia but Shay Given? Hmmm… I’m not a very good judge of keepers so I’m inviting you all to comment on this rumor. Given or Almunia, who would you pick and why?

N’Zogbia has been linked to the club before and nothing has ever come from it. He’s a pacy little winger and I think he would be a good addition to the squad even if he is really struggling this year. After all, a guy can’t get any assists if he doesn’t have any targets! Of course, this could also be the press doing the age old “link every French player to Arsenal” trick, so grain, salt, etc.

Honestly, I don’t know anything about Steven Taylor except that he’s tall, he’s a defender, and he plays for a team that has allowed 32 goals.

Does this make any sense to anyone? That Arsenal are struggling defensively and they are going to bring in the keeper and defender from one of the worst defensive teams in the EPL?

The other target that I hear is the every day transfer speculation that Arsenal are going to sign Andrei Arshavin from his racist ass club. Zenit wants at least £20m for Arshavin which is an insane fee for any player, much less a player who’s only acheivement this year is one good game in Euro 2008. One little problem with this rumor is that Arsene told Canal + that thinks Arsenal don’t have the money.  Make what you will of that, I haven’t had enough coffee to figure out how a team that made £20m or so in profits last year, keeps saying that the club and the Highbury redevelopment are separated, and who’s board members insist that the boss has all the money he could ever need, suddenly doesn’t have any money.

Right, that’s it for today, tune in for the #4 top story of 2008!


All Walcott All the Time

What? Her name is Walcott too!

What? Her name is Walcott too!

Having the press go gaga over an Arsenal footballer is a bit confusing. I know that I’m a relatively new Arsenal blogger (since Jan 1, 2008) but I can’t remember a time when the press was so unified in their glowing praise of an Arsenal player: even the invincibles were criticised. So, you’ll pardon me if I cast a jaundiced eye on this recent spate of Wallgod love. Oh wait, I’m wrong, at least one person is criticising Theo; bitter old England failure Chris Waddle.

Look, as much as I want to listen to a man who once famously sported this fabulous haircut I just can’t.  And it’s not just because he’s an ex-Spud either! This is the man who dumped England out of the 1990 World Cup semi-final with a missed penalty. What would he know about World Cup football except how to fail at it?

No, partisan hacks and World Cup drama queen failures aside, pretty much everyone is behind Theo as he single-handedly sets out to slay the evil Kazakh dragons. “Don’t clip his wings!” reads one headline. “Walcott to dance a jig on the dead bodies of the 1966 superstars” claims Russel Brand who’s hairstyle will be as fondly remembered as Chris Waddle’s in 5 years’ time.

Russel, please, for the love of God, look at yourself in the mirror; that hairstyle is as preposterous a coif as I have ever seen on a human being. What is that? It’s like a reverse 80’s high school aquanet bangs hairstyle. Seriously, you make Chris Waddle look like a sensible man.

If the articles aresn’t full of hyperbole about how Theo will solve the global economic crisis, cure cancer, and score a quad-trick on Borat they are looking back at his glorious career: here’s a great one about how some guy spotted Theo when he was 10. Have you ever wondered what happened to Theo’s teammates on the England U-17 squad? Me either. Or what about the thoughts of Sunderland’s “Theo Stopper?” Sup on those and you shall fill your belly with the food of genius. Or how about “What is it like to practice with Flash Walcott?” Seriously. All of this hype is getting to me, I think I need a rest.

Theo is a tremendous talent and I am convinced that as good as he is he will only get better. Given that we all know that, can we stop all the hyperbole now? Oh, and Russel?  Cut the mullet, tell the barber you’re sick of looking like an asshole.

Hleb is a Cunt

I really wish Hleb’s left leg fell off at the knee. If he isn’t talking shit about his former teammates, or talking shit about London he’s busy “living his dream” in Spain dribbling incessantly for Barcelona and talking shit about how Cesc should come play with him at Barca. Yes, Alex, I’m sure Cesc would be extremely happy at Barcelona, you know, as the third option behind Xavi and Iniesta. Can’t you shut your mouth and wait until Summer to try to unsettle him, at least? Don’t you have any loyalty to Arsene Wenger, the man who rescued your failure of a career?

Clearly not, which is why Hleb is a cunt.

Adebayor Spins in Togo’s Grave

I admire Adebayor, his waffling skils are unrivalled by any player in the world. What other player could retire one day and un-retire two days later.

Gallas Takes the Blame

And finally, William Gallas admitted that his sit-down protest at the death of the 2-2 draw away to Birmingham was the wrong thing to do. Well… that’s pretty incredible. It took you nearly a year to admit that? Come on Bill…


un jour heureux!

They're Back


After what seems like an ice age, the hundred years’ war, and the occupation of Iraq all rolled into one, Arsenal have gone back to training. Of course notable for their absence are Adebayor, Hleb, Nasri, Gallas, Fabregas, and well, a whole bunch of guys but the training got underway none-the-less.

It’s good to see the boys in red back, and even better to see our new no.14 smiling and buddying up with teammate Clichy. Ok, now I’m excited about the season. I’ve got a season kickoff party to plan, the annual mecca, lots of stuff, work work work!

Speaking of Hleb and Adebayor, they both made the columns since yesterday morning, albeit for two totally different reasons. Hleb, because he said some “very bad” things, and Ade because I ran across a rather comical article.

First, Hleb had this to say to the press yesterday

My view of how I should be playing didn’t coincide with the manager’s. I told him last season I wanted to leave and think he was quite upset about it. But ask him. It may turn out he’s happy to see me go.

If Wenger isn’t happy to see you go, I’ll be double happy for him! We’ll turn that frown right upside down!

All kidding aside, this isn’t really as shocking of a statement as the press folks are making it out to be. It was clear to everyone with eyes that Hleb didn’t like playing on the wing and that he was often unhappy on the pitch. Anyone with a brain could have guessed that Hleb spoke to the manager about playing him more centrally and anyone with a brain could see that that desire was in direct conflict with the fact that Arsenal have one of the best central attacking midfielders in the world already at that spot. There was no way that Hleb was going to usurp Fabregas in that role and that’s really what this all seems to be about because he follows up that statement with a “blast” at Fabregas

When we get scoring opportunities, Fábregas is much more selfish than me. Given a chance to shoot, he always goes for it – unlike me.

And much like his few shots on goal, this “blast” is ineffectual and raises nothing but guffaws from the opposition.

He’s actually saying that he feels that he’s a better player because HE PASSES UP ON OPPORTUNITIES TO SCORE. BWahahahah ahahaha hahaha. Dude. We already knew that about you and it’s the quality that we (and I speak for all Arsenal fans) HATE about you. What the hell is wrong with you, you moron?

Of course this could all be lies and mistranslation, it is a story broken by The Sun, but still you have to have a laugh at the idea that Hleb fancies himself the better teammate because he passed up on open looks. He might even have an argument is Cesc wasn’t the team’s leading assist man and is widely praised for adding goals to his bag of tricks. Too funny.

Second, there’s the ongoing saga of the “Adebayor non-transfer” and it’s looking like Milan are out of the race for his signature… again. Yawn. In “real” news I did run across an inadvertently funny article in the Telegraph that mentions Adebayor. The paper took 4 “experts” and asked them their views of the top 5 EPL transfer targets (Barry, Ade, Ronadinho, Ronaldo, and Lampard). Typically this wouldn’t be a cause for reprinting here in the blog but I ran across this quote and thought it was funny

Fan’s view: Another who’s been linked with Chelsea, as well as Milan and Barca. I hope we miss out on him. I get the impression he’s a guy who believes he’s bigger than the club. He also has a discipline problem, as many Arsenal players tend to have.

Wh wh what? Many Arsenal players have a discipline problem? I was confused, so I looked at who the fan was, giving their all important view on this topic.

The fan: Trizia Fiorellino is the chairwoman of the Chelsea Supporters’ Group.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAH BNEHAYEHHEHEHAH (choke) hah aha hah (gasp) (cough). Ahem. Excuse me. Uhh, yes, it’s the Arsenal players with the discipline problems. Let’s see, what objective measures would we like to use to measure the relative discipline problems of the two teams. I know, how about the Fair play table? Oh looky, there’s Arsenal in 4th place and there’s Chelsea in 19th place. Or how about the whole Ashley Cole incident with the ref? Or, let’s compare off the field adventures… That woman is seriously demented. Good for a laugh, but seriously demented.

That’s really it for today, there’s some press about a few players that are not signing for Arsenal, a story about Arshavin being valued at £400 billion or some such nonsense but I’m going to leave you on that high note; how much you want to bet there’s a signing this week?

Update: See, the whole Hleb thing was a lie manufactured by The Sun.  You gotta love them though for trying and for providing us with some brief comedy.

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